The first time my wife told me that she never pays at the pump for gas, I laughed. When she said that she knew too many people who had fallen victim to card skimmers, I called her paranoid.

Then this week happened.

I woke up the other day to charges on my back account originating in San Antonio. I wasn't in San Antonio. I've never even been to San Antonio. I remember the Alamo, but it's not from having ever been there.

I called my bank and was transferred over to ANB's fraud department. I explained what was going on, and asked for recommendations.

"Get a new card," they said. There was a good chance someone had a dummy card with my number on it and was trying to see if they could use it at a Circle K in San Antonio.

I did some digging to see what are the best ways to protect yourself from having your card information stolen by skimmers and shimmers.

Pay Inside

My wife was right (which is something I'm getting used to saying more and more). One of the absolute best ways to protect yourself from having your info stolen, is to pay inside.

Look Before You Use Your Card

There are some signs that a pump or off-bank ATM has been tampered with that you should keep an eye out for. First, there's the sticker on the pump. It's a small "silver" sticker on the pump that exists just to assure us all that the pump hasn't been tampered with.

Also, if you're familiar with the pump or ATM, look for changes in the keypad or to the slot where you swipe/insert your card.

If You Have To Pay At The Pump, Choose One Closest To The Building

It's a lot harder to tamper with a pump or ATM where there is a lot of traffic. If the ATM seems "off," don't use it.

Here's an excellent source for more information on ways to protect yourself and what to look for.

And yet again, I have to admit my wife was right...and I was wrong.